Signs can vary and may be different for men and women. If you experience any of these signs, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately.
Chest discomfortPressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, burning or heaviness
Upper body discomfortNeck, jaw, shoulder, arms, back
Shortness of breath
Experiencing signs of a heart attack?
Thousands of Canadians die from heart attacks each year. Recognize the signs. Act quickly. You could save a life.
1. Call 9-1-1
Or your local emergency number Immediately. Emergency personnel can start treatment enroute to the hospital.
2. Stop all activity
Sit or lie down, in whatever position is most comfortable.
3. Take your nitroglycerin
If you take nitroglycerin, take your normal dosage.
4. Take ASA (Aspirin)
Chew and swallow ASA (Aspirin), if you are not allergic or intolerant (either one 325 mg tablet or two 81 mg tablets).
5. Rest and wait
Stay calm while waiting for help to arrive.
6. Keep a list of your medications in your wallet and by the phone.
Emergency personnel will want this information.
Women’s signs of heart attack
The most common heart attack sign is chest pain or discomfort; however, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure. They may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.
Signs of cardiac arrest
If the heart stops for any reason, blood is no longer getting to the brain, heart and vital organs. Death can occur within minutes.
Unresponsive to touch and sound
Not breathing or is making gasping sounds
Witnessing signs of a cardiac arrest?
Here’s what to do...
1. Call 9-1-1
Or your local emergency number right away.
2. Yell for an AED
While you do CPR, someone else can fetch an AED if available. AED’s are often in public places. The 9-1-1 operator may be able to tell you where the nearest one is.
3. Start CPR
Push hard and fast in the centre of the chest.
4. Don’t be afraid of doing it wrong.
Doing CPR-even if not perfect-gives the victim the best chance. You can’t hurt. You can only help.